Alex Fuentes lives on the south side of Fairfield, a suburb of Chicago. He's Mexican, poor, and he's a member of a gang, the Latin Bloods. Alex has managed to make it to his senior year of high school, and he's managed to keep his hands, well, as clean as they can be considering who his friends are. Then he gets Brittany Ellis as his chemistry lab partner.
Brittany is from the north side of Fairfield; she's rich, beautiful, white, and perfect--or so she wants everyone to believe. The truth is that her 20-year old sister can't walk, can't talk, and has started pulling hair as a way of expressing her frustration. Brittany's mom demands that her family appear perfect, and she yells, freaks out, and breaks down whenever something goes wrong.
There are complications, and I think each of them is probably expected from the basic premise of the book. It's a romance, flat out, and there are no plot twists, unless you, uh, expect a realistic ending, I suppose? Well, it's absolutely delightful, is what it is. I'm not sure if it's not very well written or if it's like, masterfully written, and you'd think it would be pretty easy to tell. But it's cheesey, and the lines sometimes made me cringe a little, but at the same time, I think that if I were a teenager, I would have been in a serious swoon at most of those lines, and because all of that cheese was in dialogue or character's first-person thoughts...well, I've never been a rich white girl falling in love with the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, but this is basically every middle-class high school girl's fantasy, right? And those "eek, you rough-tough gang member you, you would never SAY THAT OUTLOUD" moments in this book are exactly the pay-off you want in that fantasy.
And the ending, I mean, the Epilogue to The Deathly Hallows is sour and vinegary when compared to the sugar here, but...And there are sex issues, meaning, the characters treat sex like Mighty Putty(tm), because it's the bond that can't be broken, but, but, it's a fairy tale, honestly, and it's one that I--I was a teenager...Uh, eight years ago already? Wow, but anyway, yes, this is me. This is the book I wanted when I was a teenager.
I can't complain or judge, because I really enjoyed reading; I loved that it was an unflinching romance without the pretense of a secondary plot, but at the same time, I wasn't bored. The family situations really rounded out the characters, Brittany in particular, and added some dimension where things could've been flat. There was lots of sexual tension in the best possible way. The more I think about it, the more stars I add to my rating. I think it will be a smash hit with...well, teenagers or people who remember being a teenager.